While the IT outsourcing market is growing, outsourcing vendors are being replaced more frequently by firms. Since replacing vendors can affect the stability and quality of the IT services a firm receives, it is important to understand the drivers behind the decision to replace/retain vendors. This paper examines the impact of switching costs on this decision. We classify the various examples of switching costs into three categories (relational, financial and procedural) and develop a model to explain their role in the decision to replace or retain a vendor. The model also includes possible moderators of the relationship between switching costs and the vendor replacement decision. This model will be evaluated through a series of case studies of firms who have made this decision, and the refined model will be tested with a survey of IT outsourcing managers.
Van Deventer, Sean and Singh, Dr. Harminder, "The impact of switching costs on the decision to retain or replace IT outsourcing vendors" (2012). ACIS 2012 Proceedings. 52.